Frequently Asked Questions


1. Where Do I Start?

One of the most common questions I get when people sign up at the Critical Thinker Academy is "Where should I start? Is there a recommended sequence of courses?".

The short answer is yes, there are natural course sequences. But if you're like me you'll have an urge to jump around and explore, and move on if the content isn't grabbing you.

I have some recommendations for course sequences at the link below, but don't feel too bound by them:

CLICK HERE to view a list of recommended course sequences.

That link also serves as a handy index of the courses on the Academy site.


2. Who is Kevin deLaplante?

Hi! I'm Kevin, and I'm the lead instructor here at the Critical Thinker Academy.

Here's me and my son at the opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.


Me and son at Star Wars: The Force Awakens


I used to be a professional academic philosopher, but I left my academic position in 2015 to work full time creating resources for the Critical Thinker Academy.

I did an undergraduate degree in Physics at Carleton University in Ottawa. I did my PhD in Philosophy at Western University. I taught philosophy at Iowa State University for sixteen years, mostly courses in critical thinking, ethics, logic and scientific reasoning, and the history and philosophy of science, including philosophy of physics. I earned tenure at Iowa State, and even served as Department Chair for several years.

Here's my old office at Iowa State.



Yes, that's Professor X and a Hulk piggy bank beside my Wacom tablet.

I created most of the videos on the Academy while working at Iowa State (shhhh, don't tell anyone).

Here's the microphone I used for audio narration on the bookshelf on the right.



I work out of my home studio now, but Hulk remains my constant companion.



3. Do you do all the graphics and animations in your videos yourself?

Yep! I've never used the services of a graphic designer, and I produce all graphic elements and animations in the videos myself.

I really quite enjoy it, but it does take time.


4. What are your goals with the Critical Thinker Academy?

I think there's a desperate need for resources that can help people think critically about important issues.

Schools like to say that they teach critical thinking skills, but it's hard to take that seriously when the vast majority of students can graduate from high school and college and never be exposed to a course on logic and argument analysis, never be exposed to any serious discussion of what it means to have good reasons to believe something, and never be exposed to what scientists and philosophers have learned over 2500 years about how to reason well.

For whatever reason, our schools aren't interested in this. Teachers don't even recognize the content when you show it to them.

These thinking skills are essential for logical self-defense, they're essential for personal empowerment, and they're essential for effective democratic participation.

So I'm trying to make this content accessible to as wide an audience as possible.

That's my main wish for the Critical Thinker Academy, that it can be a resource for those who want to learn HOW to think, not WHAT to think, and how to teach this material to others.


5. What's the easiest way to access ALL the content on this site?

The most popular option is to become a Sustaining Member of the Critical Thinker Academy. You can get access to all the content on the site for as little as $3/month.

You can learn more about becoming a Sustaining Member on our Unlock Every Course page:


CLICK HERE TO VISIT THIS PAGE


6. Do you do any speaking or consulting?

I'm available for keynote speaking at conferences and association meetings, and extended visits with interested groups.

I enjoy visiting organizations and talking to people about the thinking challenges they face in their line of work.

The most common topic on which I speak is cognitive biases and their importance for critical thinking.

I tailor these presentations to fit the needs of the audience and the organization, and to make the content relevant to the work of practitioners in the organization.

For example, I would organize a talk differently if I was speaking to high school science teachers versus a group of managers at a marketing firm. But in both cases it is easy to show how cognitive biases are relevant to their interests and their practice.

Below is a sample of clients who have either purchased video content from me or invited me to speak.

clients

Here's a picture from a talk I gave for a group of performance auditors (Municipal Internal Auditors Association, Niagara Falls, October 2016).

niagara-falls-2

Send me an email and let's talk!

Email: kevin-at-criticalthinkeracademy.com